Three coaches to watch in 2017
WHEN the 2017 high school track and field season gets underway on Saturday with the staging of the Pure Water JC Invitational and the First Chance meet at Herbert Morrison High in Montego Bay, most attention will be focused on Jamaica College.
Three boys teams - St Jago High, Wolmer's Boys and St George's College - will be in the spotlight. All three have first-time head coaches.
At the start of the New Year, the big question on the minds of many in track and field is, which of these coaches will make the biggest impact?
Orville Byfield who not too long ago had a two-year stint at Kingston College as head coach will be the man in charge at St George's. Danny Hawthorne will call the shots at Wolmer's Boys while Rhansome Edwards will have his first stint at St Jago. He replaces Hawthorne.
Of the three, Hawthorne is the most experienced and most successful. He has produced the likes of Olympians Yohan Blake, Nickel Ashmeade and Nathon Allen at St Jago and his presence should make a big difference at the Heroes Circle-based Wolmer's. At their recent holiday camp they had as many as 80 boys in training.
Hawthorne is looking forward to the new challenge with great optimism.
"I am very pleased with the all round support so far from the institution as it has been a great reception from all angles and the boys are excited and enthusiastic and I am hoping to help to bring back the school at the top," he said.
For Edwards who had stints at Bridgeport High and Vere Technical in the past, the pressure is on. It will not be that easy to top or even equal Hawthorne's work. He will be under the microscope but fortunately for him many of the young athletes Hawthorne brought to the fore are still in the programme.
It will also be difficult for Byfield to do well at a school which is more friendly to football. St George's has, however, produced several very good track and field athletes over the years and Byfield will surely not be under the same pressure he had at KC, from past students and others, to do well immediately.